As this enchanting tour unfolds, you'll discover the rustic charm and unique culture of the country’s ‘heel’. You'll then journey south through remote Calabria, pausing in a European Capital of Culture for 2019 – Matera, before enjoying the classic beauty of Sicily.
Excursions and Visits include:
Visit the medieval seaport of Trani
Guided tour of Alberobello, Martina Franca and Ostuni
Visit to the cave dwellings at Matera
Altomonte orientation tour
Visit to Archaeology Museum in Reggio Calabria to Riace warriors
Visit to Lecce
Use of audio headsets on guided tours
Day 1 - UK to Naples to Mercogliano
Fly to Naples and transfer to Mercogliano, staying overnight at the locally rated 4-star Green Park Hotel Titino. This comfortable hotel is situated in a park boasting an excellent view of Avellino, and is close to the bustling centre of Mercogliano in the Monte Paternio valley.
Day 2 - Mercogliano-Alberobello
Travel to Alberobello, visiting the medieval town of Trani, with its castle, cathedral and old town en route.
Stay three nights at the locally rated 4-star Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri.
Day 3 - Alberobello, Martina Franca and Ostuni
Included tour to see the unique 'trulli' houses in Alberobello; Martina Franca with its baroque old town; and Ostuni, a traditional Apulian town.
Day 4 - Lecce
Today visit the beautiful town of Lecce, known as the 'Florence of the south' on account of its astonishing number of baroque and Renaissance-style public buildings. A local guide will show you the principal sights, such as the Piazza del Duomo in the city centre, dominated by the bell tower of the 17th-century cathedral.
Day 5 - Altomonte
Travel to Altomonte in Calabria, via Matera – a European capital of Culture for 2019 – to see the intriguing houses and churches carved out of rock: ‘i sassi’.
Stay at the locally rated 4-star Hotel Barbieri for three nights.
Day 6 - Altomonte
Spend the day at your leisure, perhaps exploring independently, relaxing at your hotel, or joining an optional excursion to Rossano.
Day 7 - Altomonte
Enjoy a walking tour of Altomonte to explore its historical treasures.
Day 8 - Altomonte-Giardini Naxos, Sicily
Drive south to Reggio Calabria, and pause at the National Archaeological Museum to see its famous Riace warriors. Board the ferry across the straits of Messina, a sea crossing of about 25 minutes.
On arrival in Sicily, enjoy a scenic drive to Giardini Naxos, a seaside resort at the foot of Taormina, where you'll stay three nights at the locally rated 4-star Hotel Caesar Palace.
Day 9 - Giardini Naxos, Sicily
You may like to join an optional excursion to picturesque Taormina and Mount Etna.
Day 10 - Giardini Naxos, Sicily
Either relax in the sun or join an optional trip to Syracuse, a city founded nearly 3,000 years ago.
Day 11 - Catania to UK
Return flight home.
One of the most fascinating towns in Sicily, Syracuse once rivalled Athens as the greatest city of the Greek world. More recent buildings have replaced much of the ancient city, but there are considerable remains of historic structures both in the archaeological area of Neapolis and on the promontory of Ortygia. This guided excursion includes a visit to the Archaeological Park, where you can see the remains of temples, tombs, a Roman amphitheatre and one of the largest Greek theatres in existence.
Mount Etna and Taormina
Discover the lava-covered slopes of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. From the lower level of Mount Etna, called Rifugio Sapienza (the Refuge), the Silvestri Crateri are within walking distance and you'll be able to admire the older frozen lava flows.
Continuing to Taormina, a guided tour will reveal why this ancient town has been such a popular tourist destination since the 19th century. Taormina has a number of elegant mansions and palaces dating from the Middle Ages, and several interesting churches including the 15th-century fortified cathedral, and St Pancras, which incorporates part of a Greek temple.
* Additional Charges
If the number of people staying in this room is less than the maximum occupancy, there may be a slight charge for under-occupancy.
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